Sunday , June 23 2024

HCM City orders hospitals to test visitors who travelled to endemic areas for malaria


Patients coming from malaria-endemice countries will be tested for timely treatment. Photo:

HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Health has instructed medical facilities to test all visitors who have returned from malaria endemic areas for the disease.

It is easy to confuse malaria symptoms with those of other illnesses such as flu, COVID-19, dengue fever, and urinary infection.

Last week the city’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases reported that it discovered and treated two imported cases of severe malaria.

One of them is a 24-year-old Vietnamese student who returned from Cameroon while the other is a 63-year-old Chinese man who came from Ivory Coast.

Dr Hồ Đặng Trung Nghĩa, head of the hospital’s department of infectious diseases, said people who return from malaria-endemic areas such as Laos, Cambodia and Africa need to go to medical facilities for testing if they have a fever. 

In Việt Nam, the disease occurs only in a few provinces in Tây Nguyên (the Central Highlands) and the south.

According to the department, without prompt treatment malaria could lead to convulsions, liver and kidney failure and coma, and there is a high risk of death. 

People who have never had malaria are at high risk of having severe symptoms. 

Last year the country had a total of 465 malaria cases, down 67 per cent from 2020, according to the HCM City Centre for Disease Control.

As of last year 36 provinces and cities across the country had been recognized as malaria-free, it said. 

HCM City has not recorded any domestic malaria cases since 2011 and was recognized as a malaria-free locality in 2020.

It does handle a number of infections every year, but all are imported or referred from other places in the country.  — VNS 




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